The first hurdle in video dating is to keep the small talk to a minimum. If you’ve used online dating for awhile then you understand. Too often, you can end up just making idle talk that is only there to fill the time and nothing can kill a video date faster.

Today we’ll talk about how to minimize the meaningless small talk so that you can get to the business at hand – actually getting to know each other!

Follow-up ‘what’ questions with ‘why’

When you find a match and meet online for a video date, it’s only natural to ask facts about each other. Things like ‘what are your hobbies?’ or ‘what kind of work do you do?’ are the norm, but you should shake things up a little with the occasional ‘why’.

Ask your date why they like a particular hobby. Ask why they went into a particular kind of work. When you learn someone’s motivations, then you’ve learned something important about the type of person that they are. Don’t overdo it, of course, but try throwing in the occasional ‘why’ and see what happens. You’ll learn much more than you would have otherwise.

Resist the urge to make it about you

Sometimes when you meet someone new, then you get a little nervous. This can result in moments of silence and to keep the conversation going, you’ll end up talking about yourself in order to fill in the gaps.

Relax. Resist the urge to fill up these gaps with talk about yourself. While it does fill the silence, you’ll come across as a bit narcissistic, and there is a much better way to fill that silence. Get your date to talk about themselves.

People LOVE talking about themselves, so ask them about their passions and you can’t go wrong. If they love cars, ask them what car they might want to own the most and why. If they love history, ask what period of time they wished that they had lived in. You can’t go wrong getting someone to talk about themselves but you CAN learn a lot about them.

Try it for yourself and you’ll see!

Stories are much better than small talk

We are all storytellers by nature and this is a great way to get someone to show you the most meaningful parts of their personalities. Ask leading questions that open up the possibility that someone will tell you a story.

Starting questions with probing introductions such as ‘so when did you know…’ and ‘how did you get do…’ can get the ball rolling and more often than not you’ll get some great stories in the bargain. If you really want to learn about someone quickly, get them to share their stories and soon they’ll be asking for your own!

Some final words on skipping the small talk

Small talk can be the death of an online date, but it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of the tips that we’ve shared today and you can skip the time-filling talk and get right to the meat of your date’s personality.

Remember, throw in more ‘why’ questions to learn about their motivations in life. Get them talking about themselves – people love to do it and you’ll have less awkward silence. Finally, ask for stories… you’ll get them and learn what you need to know more quickly.

It’s not about small talk, after all, it’s about getting to really know each other!